Nigerian Medical Association
Nigerian Medical Association

The Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) has described the Joint Health Sector Union (JOHESU) as an illegal body.
The President of NMA, NMA’s President, Prof. Mike Ogirima, also advised that no one should entertain or deal with JOHESU.
Ogirima was apparently reacting to the indefinite nationwide strike commenced on April 18, by members of JOHESU.
“JOHESU is an illegal body that should not be accorded any recognition by Nigerians,’’ he said.
He also said that JOHESU’s industrial action was unnecessary as its demands were driven by envy.
But Dr Chris Mbata, Rivers Chairman of the union, on Wednesday in Port Harcourt dismissed the NMA statement describing JOHESU as illegal.
Mbata said the strike was purely to make government respect the agreement it entered into with the union on Sept. 30, 2017.
According to him, the NMA is unfit to declare a recognised union such as JOHESU an illegal entity.
“The NMA is not a trade union in the first place; it does not know that JOHESU is a union of all registered health sector trade unions,’’ he said.
The chairman said the strike was not in any way targeted at any other body of service providers within the health care system.
“The strike is simply a way of demanding a better welfare package for our members, it is not in any way targeted at anybody or group.
“We are not in any form of competition, we are all strategic service providers in the system, we are all important,’’ Mbata said.
He said other groups of health service providers were envious of JOHESU because of its strength and strategic position within the system.
“About 80 per cent of workers in hospitals in this country are JOHESU members, they are aware of our position in the health sector.
“Activities come to a halt whenever JOHESU is on strike, we occupy strategic position within the system,’’ he said.
Meanwhile, the JOHESU strike has been reported to be effective as many branches joined the nationwide indefinite action.
Mr Obisesan Oluwatuyi, the General Secretary, Nigerian Union of Allied Health Professionals (NUAHP), confirmed this to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Wednesday in Abuja.
Oluwatuyi said that they would not call off the strike until government met their demands.
The health workers of Obafemi Awolowo University Teaching Hospital (OAUTHC) , Ile-Ife, Osun, under the aegis of JOHESU, has joined the strike.
Mr Obinna Ogbonna, National Vice Chairman of JOHESU, announced this during the congress of the union at the hospital complex in Ile-Ife on Wednesday.
Ogbonna said the union decided to join the strike due to alleged failure of Federal Government to honour its agreement with the body.
He said that federal government had on Sept. 30, 2017, signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with JOHESU on its demands, which was supposed to be implemented within five weeks.
“It will be recalled that JOHESU suspended its last nationwide strike action on Sept. 30, 2017, after the signing of the MoU.
“For the avoidance of doubt, our demands are upward adjustment of Consolidated Health Salary Structure (CONHESS), employment of additional health workers.
“Also, implementation of court judgment and upward review of retirement age from 60 to 65, among others.
“However, it is disheartening to note that after six months of the suspension our last strike and still counting, the federal government has not done anything tangible over the issues,’’ he said.
He said that the 30 days working ultimatum given to the federal government had expired.
Similarly, the Joint Health Sector Union (JOHESU), Federal Medical Centre (FMC), Keffi , Nasarawa State, has also joined the nationwide indefinite strike.
Mr Achimugu Isaiah, the JOHESU branch Chairman at the centre, disclosed this on Wednesday while declaring the strike during the union meeting in Keffi.

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